All types of mercury-containing lamps including Tubes, Compact Fluorescent, High and Low Pressure Sodium, Mercury Vapour and many others are sent to a secondary recycler where they are put through a crushing process where they are pulverized and the mercury removed.
Crushed material including glass, phosphor powder and metals are separated and cleaned before being put back into use in various industries.
The glass can be used in the making of aggregate or even fibre glass while the phosphor powder again goes on to be reused in the manufacture of new fluorescent lamps and tubes. Metals are used in countless applications depending on whether they are tin, aluminum or even tungsten.
The mercury that is removed is contained in a series of filters including Activated Carbon. These filters are sent to a retort facility to be put through a distillation process. Here the mercury is heated to very high temperatures to become vapour and then cooled where it is collected and reused in the lamp industry.
With the outright banning of the sale of the archaic incandescent bulb, CFLs are becoming more and more popular. These much more efficient bulbs save on your monthly electricity bill, but more importantly can be recycled like their cousin the tube. Because CFLs contain their own ballast, they contain circuitry that is recycled as Electronic Waste.